Scientists claim this can be a safer alternative to weight loss surgery.
Science Daily reports on a new invention that helped rats lose 40 percent of their body weight during lab tests, in only 12 days. The engineers of this small implantable device from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, say that this device could be an answer to the “rising pandemic” of obesity. So what exactly does this implantable, non-battery operated device do that aids in weight loss?
The one centimeter length implant is about the size of one third of a United States’s penny, and generates a slight, gentle electric pulse from the stomach’s natural churning motions in order to develop them to the vagus nerve. The Vagus nerves is that which connects a person’s brain with their stomach; the nerves that is synonymous is hunger pangs.
A professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Xudong Wang, has remarked on the creation and studies of what is believed to be a new and promising weapon for weight loss.
“The pulses correlate with the stomach’s motions, enhancing a natural response to help control food intake.”
This device has several advantages over other existing weight loss options, according to Wang and other collaborators involved in the making of and study of this implantable device. Currently, gastric bypass is a popular weight loss surgery that is entirely permanent and completely alters the stomach’s capacity for food. While longer term risks and complications of this type of surgery vary depending on the individual and the surgery performed, some of the risks can include: bowel obstruction, dumping syndrome that can lead to malnutrition of iron, calcium, and other vitamins; risks also include stomal stenosis, which occurs when there is a tightening and narrowing of the new opening between the stomach and intestine after Roux-en-Y weight loss procedures, cites Stanford Healthcare. Such an issue can cause vomiting after eating and drinking. There are a lot of other complications and risks involved in these types of weight loss surgeries, which can all be read about on Stanford Healthcare for those who may be considering those options.
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Wang’s new implantable device is entirely reversible. In fact, during the study, to test this reversibility, the collaborators removed the device from the rats after 12 weeks, and the rats resumed their normal eating patterns and weight bounced right back.
“It’s automatically responsive to our body function, producing stimulation when needed.Our body knows best.”
Wang and his collaborators have patented the weight loss device through the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and are currently moving forward with testing in larger animal models. If the device is successful in further animal studies, they hope to move toward human trials.
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